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This paper attempts to outline the evolution and taxonomy of vetālas, one of the fabulous creatures that populate the religious culture of ancient and early mediaeval India. Sometimes misleadingly identified as “vampires”, vetālas had an important role in tantric rituals aiming at magical powers and performed in cremation grounds. Three such rituals are examined in this paper on the basis of both tantric and literary texts, all involving vetālas who sometimes appear as animated corpses, sometimes as jinn-like servants, sometimes as fully developed fabulous creatures bearing the characteristic marks of their species, which marks can also be assumed by deities. In the appendices a Kashmirian stotra to Bhairava appearing as a vetāla is edited and translated, and two vetāla doorkeepers are presented from a 12th-century Hoysala temple.

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Economic thought and the principles of economic policy appear in a full-fledged form in the Arthasastra of Kautilya, a text which has gained its present form between the fourth century B.C. and second century A.D. Although a great deal of ideas in this text concerning government and politics reappear in the early medieval times economicpolicy fell into totaloblivion. Kasyapiyakrsisukti, a Sanskrit text tentatively dated from the early medieval period has come down to us in a single manuscript and belonged to the group of forgotten Sanskrit works up to the recent times. Verses 683-777 form a lucid treatise on economic policy which had its roots in the Arthasastra and at the same time contain new ideas originating from the contemporary conditions.The type of economydepicted here reminds us of the situation in early medieval Europe.

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